New ISO International Standard Addresses Market Research Industry
May 17, 2006
The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) released ISO 20252:2006 - Market, opinion and social research - Vocabulary and service requirements, which applies the principles of ISO's quality management standards (specifically ISO 9000:2000 - Quality management systems - Fundamentals and vocabulary) to market, opinion and social research and harmonizes - at the international level - the requirements of the various national standards and industry codes which already exist for the sector.
Market research is now a global industry and cross-border trade will be facilitated by ISO 20252 which standardizes requirements for market research worldwide, encouraging consistency and transparency in the way surveys are carried out, and confidence in their results and their providers, according to ISO.
The intention of ISO 20252:2006 was to develop an international standard that sets out guidance and requirements relating to how market research studies are planned, carried out, supervised and reported to clients commissioning such projects. Therefore, ISO 20252 covers all the stages of a research study from the initial contact between the client and service provider to the presentations of results to the client.
ISO 20252 is the work of ISO technical committee ISO/TC 225, Market, opinion and social research. Its chairman, Enrique Domingo de Blas, said, "Since national standards have been developed in many countries over the last 10 years, this has fostered awareness of the importance of quality in market research. Nevertheless, there are cultural, social and behavioral differences between countries concerning products and services. Consequently, an international standard is necessary in order to regulate these differences and permit cross-border, multi-country research studies to be carried out with the assurance that working procedures are homogeneous and comparable. In addition, an international standard will enable clients to obtain globally-compatible feedback and make better informed choices of service providers."
ISO 20252 has attracted significant interest from ISO members, with several countries participating: Algeria, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Bulgaria, Britain, Canada, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Israel, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea, Mexico, the Netherlands, the Russian Federation, Serbia and Montenegro, South Africa, Spain, Sweden and the U.S. In addition, Austria, Egypt, Iran, Morocco, Romania, Thailand, Turkey and Uruguay are observers.